Monday, Jul 28, 2014
Columns

Generals mishandle our military, but lawyers are even worse


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Lawyers are, reportedly, making significant progress on their uncoordinated and unwritten plan to take over the military, along with corporations and governments of all sizes.

You might think of them as a sort of super bacteria, which consumes its host, even though that body is necessary for continued life and propagation of the bug itself. Lawyers contribute nothing of value to a nation or society: they do not help to reduce national and international debts; nor do they add to the Gross National Product; but they do make life unnecessarily complicated and avoidably expensive.

I do not, one hopes, have to remind you that most of our various governments, from the smallest city to the massive federal monster itself, are staffed and run by and for the benefit of lawyers. Look, for pertinent example, at the federal government's currently discussed health care law, which features thousands of pages of legalistic nonsense.

It was written by lawyers, so as to ensure that lawyers would be necessary to its implementation and operation. Lawyers have been, and will continue to be, the major financial beneficiaries of that monstrous piece of shameful and destructive legislation.

Lawyers (e.g., Eric Holder and Barack Obama) were primarily responsible for the specious filing of racially motivated criminal charges against Mr. Zimmerman in the case involving Trayvon Martin. There now are published estimates showing that the price of that ill-conceived legal action cost the taxpayers a couple of million dollars, when all rational observers could see that the government had no case to begin with, and the trial should never have been held. Who benefited? Essentially just lawyers.

Today, lawyers seem to be on the verge of wresting control of the military forces from the professional officers that have had that responsibility since Valley Forge. As regular readers know, I'm no fan of most generals and admirals, who get where they are by being amoral, egotistical, unconscionable, ambitious politicians first and foremost. Few of them give a damn about their men or the mission. But the long-established, tested and repeatedly proven (if less than perfect) methods, by which command and control of our military forces is exercised, are now under attack by those same lawyers, who are working to remove professional military officers from involvement in military justice.

The current argument used by those ambitious lawyers is that thousands of military personnel are sexually assaulted each year, and the existing system of military justice is not dealing with that growing problem.

Perhaps there are an unacceptable number of sexual assault cases in the military, but removing military commanders from handling those cases will result essentially only in significantly weakening the military's traditional command structure. The reasonable way to combat the problem is to fix the military's politically-based promotion system, which presently ensures that the least-fitting officers are the most likely to rise to the highest ranks.

At the same time, there needs to be a rational review made of the lawyer-promoted policy of integrating more and more females into what is, by nature, a man's world. It is predictable that men, in dangerous jobs, which also remove them from normal social/sexual situations, may lose control of themselves when women are suddenly introduced into that lonely and stressed environment.

There are important jobs for women in the military (e.g., nursing), where there have never been significant problems with sexual assault, but suddenly introducing females everywhere in the services is an invitation to trouble. Putting lawyers in charge of solving that will serve no purpose other than to further weaken the discipline, the effectiveness, of our military.

Lawyers don't help Congress, which they dominate, nor do they any longer make a significant contribution to any other facet of our nation. We should not allow them to now erode our military strength, while further enhancing their own self-generated importance.

As the Bard of Avon wisely put it, many years ago: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

OK, OK, that's taken out of context, but, considering what lawyers have done, and are continuing to do, to us (instead of for us), the thought has a certain attraction - does it not?

Of Cabbages and Kings is a syndicated column by j.g.nash. Relevant comment may be sent to him at jgn@jgnash.com.

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